Megan Maxwell (She/Her)
As a human centred designer and researcher my design practice focuses on human experiences surrounding social interactions. I have a passion for human experience and innovation based on insights, addressing people’s needs through socially engaged products, services and experiences. I recognise the importance of design ethnography and view my methods of research as immersive experiences where I have the opportunity to observe, engage and interact with my research at hand.
Throughout my studies I have been driven by my desire to enhance communities and groups through participatory and experiential design. With the COVID-19 pandemic I have been more focussed on developing projects rich in social interactions and bringing people together.
Glasgow Wide Network of Adaptable Spaces
At the beginning of the project I looked at the decline of retail and potential of the high street. During the Self Initiated project this developed into enhancing and sustaining a sense of ownership and community on Sauchiehall Street as we come out of lockdown. My outcome manifests a public project of adaptable spaces taking over the vacant spaces of the city. This relates to my research, insights, trends and current affairs. Starting as a Sauchiehall Street project this could be developed for a Glasgow wide network of adaptable spaces.
There were approximately 75 vacant units on Sauchiehall Street, it doesn’t look or feel good. Even though we see so many vacant spaces in the city there is a lack of space for human interactions, socialising and connectivity. Sauchiehall street was selected as the initial test-pilot, as it is an area showing large numbers of available spaces and has also seen the decline of business and people in the area. Showing what could be done on Sauchiehall street and developed around the city.
For parts of the project I was somewhat a roving reporter designer with discussions, and design alterations happening openly on the street. My initial research developed as I followed the opportunities, insights and needs of the people, who were my main focus. The ultimate outcome would include partnerships with Future Cities Glasgow, GSA, Artists, Designers and influential locals that could host events and pop ups.
A human centred city, public space that can be arranged, shared, organised through a digital platform. A community exchange and urban takeover. For the people by the people.
Switch It Up – Health and Wellbeing Educational Game
Continuing on from Part 1- Future Experiences, I revisited our collaborative future world context. Part 2 was initially spent reviewing area’s of interest from Part 1 and focussing on sustaining normality beyond cancer.
During the individual aspect of Future Experiences Part 2, I developed an interactive educational experience that allows children to interact with complex issues such as cancer. The more children know about cancer the less likely they are to bully, harass or be afraid of cancer.
Switch it up – Animal Park is a concept game aimed to enable conversations and education around cancer in younger children. The advances of collective intelligence in 2030 allow us to bridge the gap between healthcare and education through research and development. The game portrays the child’s imagination with AR bringing their character to life. Throughout the game children will collect points whilst exploring a series of questions and challenges for clues to find their character. Each game, question and discussion card relates to symptoms, emotions and treatments of cancer. It then monitors and adapts the child’s experience using feedback loops on the game application. The outcome aims to expand social circles, educate and encourage involvement with the concept of cancer, through fun games, exploring with AR, trading and discussion. The success of the products will be if the children engage in conversations thus destigmatising and removing the fear of cancer. Learning, sharing and discussing.
2030: Living Beyond Cancer
Future Experiences (Pt. 1)
Part one of Future Experiences was developed alongside two course mates, and was spent speculating on what it could be like living beyond cancer in 2030 in the context of collective intelligence and big data.
Technological advancements could allow for intelligent health monitoring in the home. Using a set of smart tools – essentially intelligent crockery and cutlery – Dinaci, a healthcare brand of 2030, looks at biological and behavioural trends to build an image of the users normality. Negative trends in this data point towards health problems; in the beyond cancer context this is an image of risk of readmission. The data gathered acts as part of a collective intelligence; informing the users healthcare on a local scale; in a wider context it informs global medical and cancer communities.